Monday, August 24, 2009

Having a Flat?

(Prescription for a really FLAT tire!)



Has that ever described how you felt? Like you'd just had the air let out of your plans? Or your life? Or just felt like you have fizzled out like a balloon that was losing air? I have! In fact, that's the way I feel today. Although I have things I have to do every day this week, I feel like I'm flat. Empty. Like I'm going nowhere. Spinning my wheels. Making no progress. My bones ache. My eyes are weak. I feel sad. Sometimes it can be something big that deflates me. Sometimes it can be just the tiniest little thing!

What's the answer to my flatness? My emptiness? Maybe I can look at something that happened a few days ago and figure it out. My husband headed out to get his old 4x4 pickup and trailer so he could load his tractor and take it to the "Old Place" to disk up some ground and plant some greens. First thing he noticed a flat on one of his tires. Flat. Empty of air. Not a real unusual thing to happen out here. There's all kinds of things to pick up in a tire on these gravel roads. Sometimes it's a huge nail. Sometimes just a small little tack or rock that causes the flat. Did he just sit down and look at it the flat tire or throw his hands up in despair? No! He took action! He went and got his air compressor, plugged it in , and put air in the flat tire. No more flatness. No more emptiness. Fixed. Mission accomplished. Now he could get on with his plans.

One of the best preventatives for a flat tire is to check the air pressure from time to time. If it's a little low, put more air in. That's what I should do in my spiritual life! I should do a "self-check" from time to time to see how "inflated" I am and if I'm getting too low, spend some extra time with the Lord instead of letting myself get to the place where I am just plain wore out and FLAT!

So, what's the answer to my flat, empty feelings? I need to be inflated. I need to get "plugged in" to a Greater Source of Power than myself.

I need some time alone with God. I need some time to rest in Him. To tell Him my needs. To read His Word. To listen to Him speak to me through His inspired words. I need a fresh wind blowing through my heart and mind that will fill me up and get me going again.

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be FILLED with all the FULNESS of God." Ephesians 3: 19


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Gottcha Covered

On Tuesday I spent all day taking care of my stepmother who is slowly but surely recovering from being real sick. She is able to be out of the bed a lot now but is still not able to do anything but get up and eat or sit in her recliner and read the newspaper or watch TV. So someone stays with her night and day and I have been trying to do my share. I usually do some cooking, some cleaning, and some laundry while I'm there. And some visiting. It's a good time to catch up on that, too. :)

The other day while cooking for her I accidentally let the smallest of her stainless steel pots get too hot and it discolored the bottom on the inside. I was mortified that I had let that happen! I immediately tried scrubbing it with a metal scrub pad but that didn't help. I tried scrubbing it with salt. That didn't help. I could tell the discoloration was there to stay. She's always been careful of her pots and pans and to tell you the honest truth....I was afraid to tell her what had happened! I felt like a child who had been caught doing something wrong. It had been a long time since I'd felt that certain feeling of dread in my stomach!

I know you are gonna think this is awful.....and it is!....but I actually thought about just washing and drying the pot, putting it up and not saying a word to her about it. She never cooks anymore and so might not see it for a long time. But then probably the next person who got it out to cook in would say, "What happened to your pot?" And she would guess. Or know. That I did it! And then she would be mad. Or sad. Or just disappointed that I didn't tell her.

So, I swallowed the bitter taste in my mouth and took the pan over to her held behind my back. With a tremor in my voice I said, "I did something that is going to upset you." She looked VERY surprised ....but not upset....and said, "What's that?" Then I told her what had happened and that I was so very sorry about it! I held the pan out for her to see. She seemed glad that that was all that was wrong. ha She told me that it was all right and that it wouldn't affect the way it cooked and that was all that mattered. I felt such relief ! I was so glad that I didn't try and hide what I had done even though it was an accident and not done on purpose. That would have gnawed at my heart till I would have been sick. And such a childish idea in the first place! Good grief! I can't believe it even crossed my mind!

Proverbs 28: 13 says "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." That's exactly what happened with my stepmom. Had I covered up the accident, she would have been so disappointed in me when she found out! But when I confessed it she was quick to forgive and have mercy!

The same principle applies with our Heavenly Father. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1: 9

What a blessing we enjoy as Christians to have our sins forgiven and covered by the precious shed blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ! "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." Romans 4: 7

I'm glad He's "got me covered" !


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Wind Beneath My Wings

"Did you ever know that you're my hero?

You're everything I wish I could be.

I could fly higher than an eagle,

for you are the wind beneath my wings."

The first time I ever hear Bette Midler’s song “Wind Beneath My Wings” it took my breath away! I know she’s talking about a human loved one but it could just as easily be applied to our Lord. He should be our Hero! And He’s surely everything we wish we could be!

I wonder if men may have been fascinated with “wings” from the first time Adam ever saw a bird? People have even at times made lightweight foundations shaped like wings, strapped them on their back and stepped off the side of a mountain trying to fly like birds. Finally the airplane was invented and now it’s just an everyday thing for men to fly around through the air!

A few months ago while shopping in a Dollar Store I bought our little three-year-old granddaughter some bright pink “fairy wings” to play with. As soon as she saw them she fell in love with them! Her daddy wanted her to leave them at GranMamma’s house instead of taking them home so she did …..but with a very sad face.

Several days ago we had them up for a fish supper. After we had finished eating the adults were still sitting around the table talking but our granddaughter had gone to play with the toys we have for her. She came running back into the kitchen and came up to me with the most pitiful look on her sweet little face. When I asked her what was wrong she said, “GranMamma….I can’t find my wings! ! !” It sounded so funny but she was so serious about it that I made myself stifle a grin. I took her little hand and told her we would find her wings together! We did.

I helped her put them on and with a huge smile from ear she commenced to “fly” all over the house and even out into the yard! Her Daddy confided to me later that she had come to him several days earlier and said to him, “Daddy…I really want to fly…but my wings are at GranMamma’s house!”

(With her wings on! Sorry I can not show you her beautiful face! Neither her parents nor I am comfortable with the kids pictures being online. But take my word....she's a beauty!)

I don’t know why but that made me start thinking about God’s wings. Sometimes we may be in the shadow of God’s wings: “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Psalm 57: 1 Sometimes we are tucked up under His wings: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalm 91: 4 Sometimes there is healing in His wings: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…” Malachi 4: 2

And He promises that He will be the wind beneath our wings: “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 31)

Thank You Lord, for being the wind beneath my wings!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Things Are Sometimes Not As They Seem

"The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing:..."

Isaiah 35: 1-2a

My step-mother gave me a rooted branch of her old-timey rose bush several years ago. Hubby dug a huge hole and filled it with rich dirt and fertilizer and set it out for me. It has grown and grown and now produces lush red blooms most of the summer. This year it was full of blooms in the early summer. Then it stopped for a while but now it's blooming again. But not uniformly. It has gorgeous groups of places. Other places are bare and ugly.

I took this close-up picture of some of the roses. Beautiful and lush! It LOOKS perfect from this angle.

But if you look at the whole picture, you can see that there is something wrong with the rosebush. It needs attention. It needs some pruning. It needs spraying to kill some parasites feeding on it.

My life is like this rose bush. It needs attention. I need to take better care of both my physical and spiritual life. My life needs pruning. I need to weed out some things that are crowding out the more needful things in my life. My life needs to be rid of sins that feed on my spirit like parasites.

In my flesh I want to be able to focus people's attention on the blooming parts of my life and hope that they don't see the big picture....all the things that are wrong with me! But in my spirit I know that they need to see the whole "bush"! They need to see that I have struggles, fears, and failures but that with attention, care, and pruning I can have more blooms that will perhaps fill in the bare spots I have now. But only with God working in my life will this ever happen.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's Better Than Reading Blogs?

What's better than reading blogs?

(Marilyn & Liesa)

Meeting the author of a blog in person, that's what!

Up until today I only knew IRL (in real life) two women out of all the blogs I have read. These are two women that I have known for many years. Lisa of "Butterfly Place" and Jana of "Scrapped Knees and Calendula Ointment".

Today Liesa George of "Life By George" and I met real McAlister's Deli for lunch. (Which she most graciously treated me to!) Liesa's teenaged son and one of his friends were having cross country running practice later in the afternoon so they came with her. They were so polite and just sat quietly while Liesa and I talked a mile-a-minute! It was just like we had known each other for years! We talked, ate, and visited for two hours! I hope this is not the last time we are able to get together and visit. Thanks Liesa for a great time!

(What we ate!)

Talking with a new friend about the Lord over a big glass of iced tea is about as good as it gets! The only thing better is talking with the Lord Himself in our quiet time with Him. He is truly the Friend of all Friends who will stick with us through the good, the bad, and the ugly !

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18: 24


Sunday, August 2, 2009

He Got What He Wanted But He Lost What He Had !

"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4: 19

My husband and a friend had a great fishing trip one day last week. They were mostly catching small bream and a few catfish. Hubby had just caught a bream and was getting it out of the water when the large bass he's holding in the picture swam by. Both he and his buddy said.."Wow! Did you see that fish???" Immediately hubby dropped the bream still on the hook back into the water. The big bass must have seen it out of the corner of his eye because he doubled back and took the bait. Soon he was hooked in the lip and hubby was reeling him in while fishing buddy picked him up with the dip net. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Saturday night we had a big fish fry with family and friends and ate that greedy fish. He thought he just had to have that little bream to eat but instead he got eaten himself! There's an old saying that goes like this: "He got what he wanted but he lost what he had!"

Today my heart is heavy. On Saturdays hubby and I go and visit the kids that he then picks up on our church van on Sunday mornings. We see these kids where they live and see just a tad of the situations they are in. Some of them are not good. Some of them are much worse than that. A lot of these kids are what I have started to call "Throw Away" kids. They weren't wanted when they were conceived and they are not cared about now. Some of them are so unstable and unteachable that we may have to stop picking them up in the van because they are hindering the other kids from being able to learn anything at church. We love all these kids but if one or two of them take all the teacher's time and none of the others are being taught we just can't keep that up. Because of their circumstances at home, most of these children have little hope of a normal life. But without Jesus Christ these precious children have NO hope. Above all we want to tell them how much Jesus loves them.

A lot of these kids are like the big bass. They see something they want so bad they will go after it with all they've got. The devil will use whatever bait he can think up to tempt them. And in the end, they may get what they wanted.....but they will have lost what they had....whether it's their money, their virginity, their freedom, or even their sanity. Please pray for these children who live in the shadows.

"For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them." Ecclesiastes 9: 12